Car batteries are great because without them, moving our cars will be difficult if not impossible unless of course another way to provide the electrical needs of the car is invented. For the time being, we are stuck with the system we have, and this makes this component very important to the general smooth operations of our cars.
As good as these batteries are, they portend some danger which informs the need for some care when handling them. Just in case you want to be fully educated on the dangers that your car battery can pose.
Given the risk that the wrong handling of a car battery can pose, this article is dedicated to showing you the correct and safe way to go about disconnecting them whenever the need for that arises.
Why You May Need to Disconnect Your Batteries
There will always come a time when you will need to disconnect your car batteries. There could be about three reasons for this.
- To clean it.
- To replace it.
- To store it.
In each of the three instances listed above, you will need to disconnect the terminal heads to be able to take the next action.
If you are disconnecting for storage, let’s quickly drop these few hints for you before proceeding.
- Ensure it is fully charged before disconnection and storage.
- Clean it thoroughly with a mixture of water and baking soda. This will prevent rust and corrosion.
- Store in a cool, dry place. The temperature should not be too hot or too cold.
- Check regularly to ensure that the voltage does not drop to below 12.45 volts. If it does, recharge it immediately.
- When you are finally ready to put it back in the car, check for any issues, clean it and then clean the terminal heads before connecting them.
Here’s How to Disconnect You Batteries
So, with that out of the way, let’s get right into the proper way to go about the disconnection process. If however you will prefer a pictorial explanation, you can check this article https://www.wikihow.com/Disconnect-a-Car-Battery. Let’s now take you through a step-by-step guide.
Get Everything You Need
There are a few things you will need to get this job done properly. Here is a list of some of these items:
Gloves – These are essential for protecting your hands from the danger of electrocution or severe shock. You must therefore ensure that the set of gloves you choose are adequately insulated.
Goggles – You may not readily see the need for this, or you may regard it as being extreme. However, it is said that “it is better to be safe than sorry”. Having your eyes and the areas surrounding them properly protected is a precaution worth taking against any possible acidic eruption.
Zip Ties – These are to help you properly secure the negative and positive wires, so they don’t contact each other and spark or even cause some additional damage.
Pliers or Wrench – Get an adequately sized tool for loosening the bolts on the terminal heads.
Water and Baking Soda – You will mix this into a paste, and it will be used to clean out any signs of corrosion, dirt and grime you may find. We’ve already talked about this briefly above.
With all of the above items, you are almost ready to begin.
Before you really get started, you need to prepare the environment. The following should be strictly adhered to:
- Choose a well-ventilated location for this work. Note that there are dangerous gases involved here so you do not want to be in an airless space as it will force you to inhale a lot of these gases.
- Keep moisture away from that entire environment. You want your work environment to be bone dry. Water can cause some havoc in this kind of operation.
- Make sure you have no ornaments on you. Items like rings, flowing chains and the like can all conduct electricity and so can be very harmful to you. Remove them and only put them back on when you are done with your task.
- Ensure that the car is turned off and that anything like headlights, car stereo etc. that use electricity are switched off. You do not want current to be actively flowing when you begin to disconnect the battery.
- Check for the extent of corrosion if there is any. If there is none or if it is minimal, you may continue. If however it is very extensive, you may want to request the help of a professional for safety reasons.
So, we are good to get started. Here we go…
- Identify the two terminals. Be sure you know which is the negative and which is the positive terminal. The negative terminal will have a minus (-) sign and will likely have a black wire while the positive terminal will have a plus (+) sign and will likely have a red wire.
- Loosen the negative terminal first. If you try to loosen the positive terminal first, you can cause shorting if the positive terminal touches any metal surface in the car. If however you remove the negative first, you break the current flow, reducing the risk of shorting. After loosening and removing the negative terminal, repeat the same process for the positive terminal.
- There are situations where you may find that the wire is stuck to the terminal. Rather than trying to pull it out, get a battery cable remover. This can be bought at your local hardware store.
- Now carefully remove the battery. Remember to use the zip ties to hold the wires safely apart. Some batteries also have an extra guard that holds it in place. Carefully loosen this and then you can lift the battery out.
Get a full description for this entire process here: https://batterymanguide.com/how-to-disconnect-a-car-battery/.
Do not take the process of disconnecting a battery for granted. Doing this can result in some serious harm to you or your car. If you do not have the time to carefully follow this process, get a professional to help you.
Once your car battery has been safely removed, you can then either store it or replace it with a new one. Either way, employ the same level of care when reinstalling the battery so that you do not damage it or hurt yourself or your car.